Monthly Archives: August 2022
Today is the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. It overshadows two other important musical events which took place well before The King fell asleep and never woke up at Graceland.
Elvis almost died at 15 months, thanks to a massive tornado on 5 April 1936 which flattened much of Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley’s birthplace. At least 216 people died and more than 700 were injured in what remains the deadliest tornado in Mississippi history. One day later, another tornado killed over 200 in Gainesville, Georgia. Surprisingly, Kansas has never had a tornado kill in triple digits; the highest was in Udall in 1955 which took 83 lives. The Greensburg tornado in 2007 killed 12. Twelve deaths are 12 too many, but how only 12 died in a storm which flattened 90 percent of the town is a minor miracle.
This isn’t a weather post. Back to what made 16 August so important in the musical world.
First, Madonna Louise Ciccone was born 16 August 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. In 1983, she hit the music scene as Madonna and hasn’t looked back.
Other than her music, Madonna was great on the big screen in A League of Their Own, portraying Rockford Peaches center fielder Mae Morabito, the quintessential party girl (at least, as much of a party girl as 1943 would allow). Certainly 180 degrees on the party spectrum from Peaches superstar catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and grinder first baseman Helen Haley (Anne Elizabeth Ramsay).
Fittingly, the superstar singer contributed a No. 1 single, “This Used to Be My Playground”, to the soundtrack.
Madonna contributes the funniest line of the movie when Peaches manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) stumbles into the clubhouse after another night of heavy drinking and immediately needs to use the facility. That line is something I haven’t been able to forget 30 years later. Much like “no shirt, no shoes, no dice!” from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which I watched twice this past weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release.
Ironic I should mention those two movies in the same paragraph. Between those movies, Madonna and Sean Penn were married for four years.
Four years following Madonna’s birth, and 11 days following the death of one of Madonna’s idols, Marilyn Monroe, The Quarrymen, a band in Liverpool, England, replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
Starr joined a lineup which featured John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. The Quarrymen soon renamed themselves The Beatles, and the rest is history.
I enjoy listening to Elvis, Madonna and The Beatles. I loved Madonna from the first time I heard her as a seven-year old in late 1983 and early 1984, but I wasn’t as sold on Elvis or The Beatles. Both grew on me.
I’ll give you my lists of top songs from each artist. You might be surprised.
First, my top 10 from Elvis:
1. Burning Love
2. Jailhouse Rock
3. Kentucky Rain
4. Little Sister
5. Return To Sender
6. Don’t Be Cruel
7. Viva Las Vegas
8. Suspicious Minds
9. All Shook Up
10. Hound Dog
Next, my top 15 from The Beatles:
1. Drive My Car
2. Day Tripper
3. Come Together
5. A Hard Day’s Night
6. Twist and Shout
7. Hey Jude
8. I Saw Her Standing There
9. She Loves You
10. Magical Mystery Tour
11. I Want To Hold Your Hand
12. Get Back
13. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
14. Can’t Buy Me Love
15. Got To Get You Into My Life
BONUS: top 10 by solo Beatles
1. My Sweet Lord (George)
2. Jet (Paul)
3. Whatever Gets You Through the Night (John w/Elton John)
4. It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo)
5. Silly Love Songs (Paul)
6. Got My Mind Set On You (George)
7. No. 9 Dream (John)
8. Let ‘Em In (Paul)
9. Live and Let Die (Paul)
10. Ebony and Ivory (Paul w/Michael Jackson)
Finally, my Madonna top 20:
1. Who’s That Girl
2. La Isla Bonita
3. Material Girl
4. Live To Tell
6. Causing a Commotion
7. Deeper and Deeper
8. Dress You Up
9. Express Yourself
10. Into The Groove
12. Keep It Together
13. Lucky Star
14. I’ll Remember
16. Like A Prayer
17. Crazy For You
19. Take A Bow
20. Open Your Heart
There’s someone I know who loves a lesser-known Madonna hit, “Bad Girl”.
That’s all for now. Rest in Peace, Elvis. Happy birthday, Madonna.
I profusely apologize for not posting for almost four months. To summarize:
- Arkansas was wonderful, even though LSU lost all three games that weekend. I was reminded how great northwest Arkansas was and still is. The Razorbacks still have the best stadium in college baseball, and it has only been improved since my previous visit in 2003.
- The air conditioner in my car died AGAIN in May. It forced me to spend two nights in a Kansas City hotel in a terrible location with loud noise and outrageous prices (I had to use 51,000 Marriott points so I didn’t have to pay those outrageous prices–thank you NASCAR). I went to Des Moines and back to Kansas City after that was done. That was great. Then it all went to hell.
- June was one of the worst months of my life, at least the first 24 days. I won’t go into detail.
- July was hotter than fuck. I didn’t leave the 30-mile radius between Russell and Hays. I didn’t want to given the fucking terrible heat. Right now, Duluth is looking better and better. North Dakota will be too hot in 10 years. At least Duluth has the moderating influence of Lake Superior. I’ll trade minus-40 and six-foot snow drifts for Kansas heat. I lived in a sauna for 29 years and have lived in a blast furnace for 17. I have had enough.
- August has been hotter than fuck, save for a brief reprieve Monday (the 8th). It looks like it will continue to be hotter than fuck until after Labor Day. I hope no high school football players die in this heat. If any do, then coaches had better own up to causing those deaths. Many high school coaches have big dicks and bigger assholes, and they aren’t afraid to show it.
9 August 1963 now turns out to be a dark day in American history for two reasons: the death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, son of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Onassis) and the birth of Whitney Houston.
Patrick Kennedy died only 39 hours after his premature birth. His lungs were grossly underdeveloped and caused death from hyaline membrane disease, now known as infant respiratory distress.
It was Jacqueline’s THIRD failed pregnancy. She miscarried in 1955 and gave birth to a stillborn girl in 1956. Somehow, she had two successful pregnancies which produced Caroline in 1957 and John Jr. in 1960. JFK Jr. was born 16 days after his father was declared victor over Richard Nixon in the presidential election, a victory which was possibly tainted by electoral fraud committed by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, which tilted the Illinois vote towards the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts.
There is one reason and one reason alone why Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis had THREE failed pregnancies.
She smoked like a fucking chimney. THREE packs a day. THREE.
Anyone who tries to rationalize otherwise is stupid and nothing more than an apologist for the tobacco industry and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, who KILLED three children with the most vile habit one can acquire.
I despise tobacco and all of its iterations. At least people who chew tobacco are only harming themselves, not counting the disgusting spittle they produce.
Smoking tobacco harms EVERYONE around them. It is especially harmful for an unborn baby.
Nicotine addiction is worse than heroin. At least you’re only killing yourself with heroin.
I should know. I will never, EVER forgive my mother for continuing to smoke while she was pregnant with me in 1976.
Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis Kennedy and all those who pregnant women smoked before Surgeon General Luther Terry released his report in January 1964 had a weak excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. It doesn’t absolve them. It only makes it very sad nobody thought to link disgusting tobacco to severe health risks before 1964.
However, JFK’s wife should have known better after her miscarriage, her stillbirth and the difficult pregnancies which produced the two children who lived. She should have done everything she could have to quit for Patrick’s sake. But because she refused and had to have her three packs a day, Patrick was alive for only 39 horrifying hours.
Rosemary Bernadette Liuzza Steinle has NO FUCKING EXCUSE. The report was issued TWELVE YEARS before she got pregnant. She was in her second semester of college when it was released, and nearly seven years before she married my father, who smoked heavily for 30 years before somehow quitting cold turkey in September 1985. Not only was my mother smoking like a clueless bitch, she was breathing in my dumbass father’s second-hand smoke.
I will never, ever forgive my parents for that. It is why I have autism. I will believe that until I die.
I’m amazed Caroline Kennedy has never had serious health issues because of her mother’s nicotine habit. We won’t know about JFK Jr., because he was too stupid to realize he should not have been flying the night of 16 July 1999.
Whitney Houston has been dead for ten years. Yet twice a year, hundreds of millions of Americans worship her performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV in January 1991.
I do not. I do not think it was a good rendition. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
Whitney Houston was an overrated crack whore who stayed with fellow crack whore and abusive asshole Bobby Brown. She had ONE good song, her first big hit, “How Will I Know”. Every other Houston song makes my ears bleed, especially “I Will Always Love You”.
Let me repeat: I DON’T CARE FOR EVERY WHITNEY HOUSTON SONG EXCEPT ONE. I HATE HER RENDITION OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL XXV.
The best rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl was Herb Alpert’s prior to Super Bowl XXII in 1988. Why? It was only played on the trumpet and not sung. Tommy Loy did a great trumpet rendition of the anthem at Super Bowl V in 1971. It’s on YouTube if you want to see.
The best rendition with words? Neil Diamond, Super Bowl XXI. Short and sweet. Sixty-one seconds. I’m a little biased because I love Neil, and I am so happy I got to see it live as a 10-year old.
I will never watch Super Bowl XXV. I don’t want to see that national anthem performance again as long as I live. Also, I am tired of experts proclaiming it the greatest Super Bowl ever. It was overrated. The Bills turned out to be raging frauds. The Giants were the better team, and the better team won. The Bills played a shit schedule, thanks to getting two games apiece vs. the Patriots, Jets and Colts. The Giants had two games against the Redskins and Eagles, plus two vs. the 49ers. Buffalo lost. They should have lost.
There is a little good news. The three crybabies of LIV golf–Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and some other jerkwad–were denied in their quest to play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, which start Thursday.
Gooch, Swafford and the third jerkwad took the Saudi money. They can’t double dip. Why don’t you tour Graceland while you’re in Memphis boys?
That’s it. I feel my blood pressure rising. I can’t take it anymore. The sooner I stop thinking about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Whitney Houston, the better.